Diagnosing Goldfish Diseases & Treat Sick Goldfish

The timely diagnosis of disease is an important part of the overall goldfish care. If you can’t readily identify a goldfish disease see your local vet, or pet store.

Fish live by absorbing oxygen and they give off carbon dioxide as a waste product. Plants under the influence of daylight do the opposite so that what is poison to one gives life to the other. So adding plants to your aquarium will assist in keeping your goldfish healthy and disease free.

Preventing disease is always easier than curing it, so by keeping your aquarium clean, feeding your fish the right amount, avoiding wide temperature fluctuations and performing partial water changes as necessary you will go a long way to keeping your fish healthy. However, no matter how well you maintain your tank, from time to time one or more of your goldfish may become ill or display signs of stress.

Some of the more common goldfish diseases are discussed in this article.

Anchor worms will appear as a 1/4 to 3/8 inch piece of string with a forked tail. Large anchor worms can be easily seen. They appear as clear, greenish-white or brownish-red strings. Once the anchor worms have buried themselves into the flesh of the fish open sores may appear on the skin. The anchor worms may be visible in the sores. Frequently this parasite is introduced into the fish tank from aquarium plants ñ especially those taken from creeks or rivers, or from adding live food to the tank. Anchor worms attach beneath the fish’s scales and bury their anchor-shaped head under the skin causing ulceration and distress to the fish.

Anchor worms are highly contagious and must be treated immediately. Your pet store will have a treatment for anchor worm, usually in the form of a gyrase inhibitor that can be added to the water in the tank. This should be effective in killing the parasites within three to four days.

Swimbladder disease should be suspected whenever a fish appears to have difficulty stabilizing itself in the tank. It is not uncommon in goldfish although fancy varieties appear more susceptible to this disease. It can be genetic in origin or caused by a variety of other factors including improper or inadequate diet, bacterial infection or even poor quality aquarium water.

Apart from improving the water condition if that is necessary, some fish keepers suggest feeding your goldfish thawed out frozen peas. Feeding the fish with sinking food instead of floating food can minimize the intake of air. It may also be worthwhile moving your sick goldfish to a shallow tank while you treat it. This may reduce the stress on the fish. Swimbladder disease can often occur quite suddenly in previously healthy fish.

Dropsy isn’t a specific goldfish disease, but appears as a condition where the fish’s abdomen becomes swollen due to a concentration of fluids in the body tissues or cavities. The abdominal swelling can create a pinecone effect where the fishís scales protrude from the body. The cause of the swelling could be any of several conditions including cancer, internal parasites or bacterial infection, cancer, internal parasites. Depending on what has caused the condition dropsy may be contagious. There are no known successful treatments for dropsy and the condition generally proves fatal.

Frayed or torn fins are usually indications of fin or tail rot if the fish has not been fighting. This is a bacterial infection that first appears as a whitish edge on the fins, before the fins begin to rot away. It is easily treated with antibiotics available from your local pet store. Ensure the medication states that it treats fin or tail rot. In some cases a secondary fungal infection can occur. If this is the case, treat the fin rot before dealing with the fungal problem.

Fungus is usually a secondary infection. A fish with an open wound or sore caused from injury or disease may suffer from a lack of mucous around the area of the wound. Open wounds like this can often attract a secondary fungal infection. Look for patches of white or grey fuzzy puffs attached to the skin. There are several different treatments available for fungal infections from the pet store. Fungus responds well to quick treatment.

Perhaps the most common goldfish parasitic disease is ick. It is frequently present in freshwater fish tanks and will infect fish that have suffered recent infection or those in poor general health. Ick is characterized by small white dots that look like sprinkled salt on the body. The fish may attempt to scratch the infected areas on the wall of the tank which can cause further damage. Rapid breathing and cloudy eyes can also be signs of ick. See you pet store for ick treatment. Badly infected fish should be moved to a quarantine tank for treatment but it is important to treat the main aquarium as well to ensure that the parasite has been removed.

Goldfish are actually hardy fish but there are many diseases that can cause them stress and discomfort. If you want your goldfish to live a long and healthy life you must ensure that you manage the aquarium properly and treat sick goldfish immediately that any symptoms appear.

There is a comprehensive and instantly downloadable e-book covering the entire topic of treating goldfish diseases that will help you identify and treat symptoms.

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